World Central Kitchen Pauses Work in Gaza After Fatal Israeli Strike | Crooked Media
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April 02, 2024
What A Day
World Central Kitchen Pauses Work in Gaza After Fatal Israeli Strike

In This Episode

  • World Central Kitchen, an international aid group, said on Tuesday it paused its relief operation in Gaza after an Israeli airstrike killed seven of its workers on the ground there. The strikes happened late Monday night as the aid workers were leaving a warehouse in the central Gaza Strip in vehicles clearly marked with World Central Kitchen’s logo. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a statement that the government launched a thorough inquiry into what happened, but he also added, “This happens in war.”
  • Connecticut, New York, Rhode Island and Wisconsin held primary elections Tuesday night. Democratic organizers in Wisconsin surpassed their goal of getting 20,000 voters to cast “uninstructed” ballots in order to send President Biden the message that they disapprove of his handling of the war in Gaza. Meanwhile, thousands of Republicans cast ballots for former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley, even though she dropped out of the GOP race last month.
  • And in headlines: A 7.4 magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of Taiwan, backers of an abortions rights amendment to Arizona’s constitution say they’ve collected more than enough signatures to get it onto the state’s November ballot, and the moon is set to get its own time zone.

 

Show Notes:

 

TRANSCRIPT

 

Priyanka Aribindi: It’s Wednesday, April 3rd. I’m Priyanka Aribindi.

 

Juanita Tolliver: And I’m Juanita Tolliver and this is What a Day. The pod that’s heard the dumbest idea ever, a new bill by House Republicans to rename Dulles Airport near D.C. after Trump. 

 

Priyanka Aribindi: We mostly hate this idea, but I will say the new name would make it the perfect home for grounded Boeing 737 Max’s so. 

 

Juanita Tolliver: Where the doors fly off. Oh God.

 

Priyanka Aribindi: If they want to use it for that. Could be perfect, a match made in heaven. [music break]

 

Juanita Tolliver: On today’s show, we share some early results from yesterday’s primary voting in Wisconsin and more. Plus, the moon might be getting its own time zone.

 

Priyanka Aribindi: But first, efforts to get aid into a starving, pummeled Gaza hit a new roadblock after an Israeli airstrike earlier this week killed seven aid workers from the international aid group World Central Kitchen. 

 

Juanita Tolliver: Yeah, truly devastating news. Tell us more about what happened. 

 

Priyanka Aribindi: Yes. So the strikes themselves took place late Monday night as the aid workers were leaving a warehouse in the central Gaza Strip and vehicles that were clearly marked with World Central Kitchen or WCK’s logo. And I say strikes plural, because according to photos and videos that are verified by multiple news outlets, the convoy was hit multiple times and the three destroyed vehicles were a mile and a half apart in total, so it wasn’t one errant shot that did this. According to World Central Kitchen, the aid workers had just unloaded over 100 tons of humanitarian aid sent to Gaza by sea, and they had coordinated their movements with the Israeli military beforehand. But that didn’t stop the attacks that killed these seven aid workers. Those included three British nationals, one Australian, one Polish national, one dual citizen of the United States and Canada, and a 26 year old Gazan who had been working with them as their driver and translator. In a statement, World Central Kitchen CEO Erin Gore said, quote, “this is not only an attack against WCK, this is an attack on humanitarian organizations showing up in the most dire situations where food is being used as a weapon of war. This is unforgivable.” 

 

Juanita Tolliver: Yeah, it seems to also be consistent behavior we’ve seen from the IDF as they’ve also attacked and targeted U.N. relief workers repeatedly since they started the bombardment in Gaza. Tell us more about the aftermath of this attack. 

 

Priyanka Aribindi: Yeah, there are two parts that I want to focus on here. I mean, first, diplomatically, this immediately set off condemnation from governments all around the world, especially those that um, you know, these aid workers came from. Intentionally attacking aid workers and civilians, I might add, are war crimes, though according to US national security spokesperson John Kirby, there is no evidence at this time that the Israeli army launched this attack intentionally. Now feels like a good time to just add in that over 30,000 civilians in Gaza have been killed since this war started back in October. Israel has long been criticized for indiscriminate bombing and killing of civilians, and this incident re-upped those criticisms. But there is a bit of a gap in the response between what we saw here in response to the death of these aid workers and what we see in response to the everyday shelling and bombing by the IDF that kills innocent Gazans every single day of this conflict. 

 

Juanita Tolliver: Yeah. I just want to emphasize, every single day Gazans are losing their lives at the hands of these bombardments, and it’s almost like the world should have believed them from the beginning when they were saying that the IDF was killing them indiscriminately. Also, I feel like we can take John Kirby’s statement as a hint of how Biden will likely not react to this, which is also unsurprising. 

 

Priyanka Aribindi: I mean, another telling situation where just a passport from a different country changes views on a life. There’s no difference. 

 

Juanita Tolliver: Right. 

 

Priyanka Aribindi: Other than simply the passport and where they came from. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued a statement of his own, calling the attack tragic and unintended, though he did add, quote, “this happens in war.” He went on to say that they have launched a thorough inquiry into what happened and will do everything in their power to ensure that something like this won’t happen again. But in a conflict that has left so many civilians, journalists, and aid workers dead, those words are ringing a bit hollow. The second part of the aftermath here is what happens to aid delivery after this. After news of this attack surfaced, World Central Kitchen announced yesterday that it immediately paused their aid operations in Gaza, and other organizations followed suit, saying that it was too dangerous for them to keep at it. According to the UN’s World Food Program, WCK is a major player in providing essential aid. That aid is so desperately needed. Ships that were stocked with 240 tons of aid from WCK turned back around from Gaza yesterday, just one day after arriving after their activities were suspended. But you also can’t blame them for suspending their activities when–

 

Juanita Tolliver: Right. 

 

Priyanka Aribindi: –aid workers who are clearly identified are still being killed. And there’s no telling the human consequences that this will have on the many people who continue to suffer in Gaza. 

 

Juanita Tolliver: This is horrible news for the people who are suffering. 

 

Priyanka Aribindi: Absolutely. 

 

Juanita Tolliver: We’re going to turn to some domestic politics now. If you thought that the 2024 primary elections were over, then think again. Yesterday, voters in Wisconsin, New York, Connecticut and Rhode Island went to the polls to cast their ballots. Even though President Joe Biden and Donald Trump are the presumptive presidential nominees, these primaries are still an opportunity for the candidates to pick up additional delegates. But I’ll also explain how important they were for Democratic voters to submit protest votes in response to Biden’s handling of Gaza, and for Republican voters to cast ballots for Nikki Haley because they just don’t want Trump. 

 

Priyanka Aribindi: So, okay, what returns do we have in so far? 

 

Juanita Tolliver: As of our recording time at 9:30 p.m. eastern, Donald Trump is dominating, but Nikki Haley still has a presence in New York, Connecticut and Wisconsin. She is picking up thousands of votes in each of these states, which I’m sure will annoy Donald Trump and delight the Biden campaign. 

 

Priyanka Aribindi: Absolutely. 

 

Juanita Tolliver: In fact, Biden’s campaign team released an ad this week emphasizing how Trump has said he doesn’t need Haley supporters. And this ad is designed to attract Haley voters who they consider to be up for grabs. 

 

Priyanka Aribindi: He doesn’t need you. He doesn’t want you. Clearly, he doesn’t stand for any of the things you thought you wanted so–

 

Juanita Tolliver: Right. 

 

Priyanka Aribindi: There’s another candidate in the race. Why not? [laughter] On the Democratic side, we have been watching the uncommitted organizing efforts expand well beyond the original Listen to Michigan campaign. That is where Democrats were calling for an immediate cease fire in Gaza, voted uncommitted to send a message to Biden that his unwavering support of Israel could cost him their votes in November. And it was incredibly powerful and spawned many similar movements in other states. How will this protest vote show up in this latest round of primary elections? 

 

Juanita Tolliver: As these efforts have caught on across the nation following the Michigan primary, they made an impact in Minnesota, Hawaii, North Carolina and plenty of other states, and they’ve even earned delegates in the process. They have officially been dubbed the Uncommitted National Movement, and organizers expect to see continued support. In Wisconsin, for example, organizers are aiming to get 20,000 voters to cast uninstructed ballots because that’s the narrow margin that President Biden won the state by during the 2020 presidential election. As part of their organizing efforts, they sent mailers to 200,000 Wisconsin voters asking them to, quote, “tell the White House, count me out for genocide.” As of our recording time, with 47% of the vote reported, Listen to Wisconsin exceeded their goal. More than 24,000 voters cast ballots for uninstructed, and the votes are still coming in. In New York, where uncommitted and write in options weren’t featured on the ballot, activists encouraged voters to submit blank ballots, and organizers have been supported by the Working Families Party and others. While state election officials do count blank ballots, they don’t typically report the number of blank ballots on election night. Instead, they release that information as part of the certified election results weeks later. But there is a lot to watch out for Pri, we’re recording this as final votes are still being counted, and tomorrow we’ll be able to probe the results from Wisconsin and the impact from the protest vote there. That’s the latest for now. We’ll be back after some ads. [music break]

 

[AD BREAK]

 

Priyanka Aribindi: Let’s wrap up with some headlines. 

 

[sung] Headlines. 

 

Priyanka Aribindi: Starting with Asia. First, we’re watching this important story. A 7.4 magnitude earthquake struck off the eastern coast of Taiwan just before 8 p.m. eastern time yesterday. The quake destroyed several buildings and set off tsunami warnings in the region. The full aftermath is still being assessed, but we’ll be sure to bring you more details on tomorrow’s show. Meanwhile, some diplomatic news. President Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping spoke on the phone yesterday, marking their first contact since their November 2023 summit in California. They talked about the risks of AI, how to strengthen military communication, efforts to mitigate climate change. You know, just the usual things you chat about with the girls on Facetime. Biden also brought up the importance of peace and stability in Taiwan, which has been a tense topic between the US and China, to say the very least. In total, the call lasted a little over an hour and a half, and the administration called it, quote, “candid and constructive.” The White House also announced yesterday that Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen will make her second trip to China this year to continue talks on how to strengthen the relationship between the two countries’ economies. 

 

Juanita Tolliver: Backers of an abortion rights amendment to Arizona’s constitution say they’ve collected more than enough signatures to get it on to the state’s November ballot. The coalition, Arizona for Abortion Access, said on Tuesday it collected more than half a million signatures as of this weekend. That’s roughly 100,000 more than they needed to qualify the measure for the ballot. The group says it will keep collecting signatures until the deadline to submit them to the secretary of state, which isn’t until July 3rd, which I’m here for it. Keep organizing. Keep getting more people aware of this ballot measure that will likely appear. Keep collecting signatures. 

 

Priyanka Aribindi: Hell yeah, we love it. 

 

Juanita Tolliver: The announcement out of Arizona follows news Monday that Florida voters will also get to weigh in on an abortion rights amendment to their state constitution this November. Both Florida and Arizona currently ban almost all abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy. But Florida’s abortion restrictions are about to get even stricter because the state Supreme Court on Monday cleared the way for a six week abortion ban to go into effect in May. As always, help fight for abortion rights wherever you are by heading to VoteSaveAmerica.com/fightback.

 

Priyanka Aribindi: The New York judge overseeing former President Donald Trump’s criminal hush money trial expanded an existing gag order on Monday. The new order bars Trump from attacking family members of both the judge and Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, though both of the men themselves are not protected. The decision by New York State Supreme Court Justice Juan Merchan, came after Trump spent days attacking him and his daughter Loren on his social media site, Truth Social. Loren is a political consultant who has worked with Democrats. In expanding the gag order, Justice Merchan rejected Trump’s arguments that the attacks were political speech. Trump was already barred from attacking witnesses, prosecutors and jurors in the case under the original gag order issued last week, but clearly that did not go far enough. He needs all the reins he can get. The hush money trial is scheduled to start April 15th. It is over whether Trump tried to cover up payments to the adult film star Stormy Daniels in the lead up to the 2016 election. 

 

Juanita Tolliver: Just like a Tesla on autopilot, Tesla the company is wobbling a little bit. 

 

Priyanka Aribindi: Woof. 

 

Juanita Tolliver: The carmaker posted an 8.5% drop in annual sales yesterday, the first drop since the start of the pandemic. Part of the fall can be explained by stiffer competition. In the same time period, for example, Kia doubled its U.S. sales of electric vehicles. But let’s get to what some of you might be thinking. Yes. Elon Musk being an insufferable edgelord is also a factor. [laughter] Reuters reported on Monday that the demand for Tesla vehicles dips in tandem with the rocky reputation of the Tesla CEO. We would tell Elon to stick to tweeting, but that business isn’t doing so well for him either. You know, he just runs these things into the ground. 

 

Priyanka Aribindi: Yeah, it’s like everything he touches turns to shit. [laughter] And finally, it’s about damn time that the moon had its time. Yes, the moon is going to be getting its own standard time that will be called Coordinated Lunar Time or LTC, according to a report from Reuters. The U.S. is working to devise a plan for how to set that time by the end of 2026. It’ll also involve getting international agreement, of course, so best of luck with that. It’s part of an effort from the White House to build a research base on the moon through NASA’s Artemis program, which is working to send more astronauts to space in the near future. And now, with the start of LTC, it can help make sure that communications between spacecraft and facilities on Earth are synced up correctly. Or uh, more likely, you just uh will be late to a meeting in two time zones, not just one. But this doesn’t come without some math involved. As NASA space comms and navigation chief told Reuters, the same clock we have on Earth would move at a different rate on the moon. As of our recording time at 6 p.m. LTC, whatever that is, just assume that we will be asleep. Do Not Disturb mode will be on. You will not be able to reach us. 

 

Juanita Tolliver: At all. But, you know, I’m really excited about this because I’m imagining the horoscope girlies getting a hold of this. And it’s the new day question. It’s no longer what time were you born? It was, what was your lunar time? 

 

Priyanka Aribindi: What is the lunar time? We got to know. I mean, they have until the end of 2026 to do it. 

 

Juanita Tolliver: I think we’re going to get some app updates from people who are trying the math on their own. They’re not waiting two years for this. 

 

Priyanka Aribindi: Yeah. Listen, if you figured it out, just uh hit us up in the discord. Some of us want to know our lunar birth time. 

 

Juanita Tolliver: Or apply for a job at NASA. You know, because if you can do that math. 

 

Priyanka Aribindi: That too. That too. You can do it after the discord, though. And those are the headlines. 

 

[AD BREAK]

 

Priyanka Aribindi: That is all for today. If you like the show, make sure you subscribe. Leave a review. It’s always 5:00 somewhere on the moon and tell your friends to listen. 

 

Juanita Tolliver: And if you’re into reading and not just ballot initiatives on abortion rights like me, What a Day is also a nightly newsletter. Check it out and subscribe at crooked.com/subscribe. I’m Juanita Tolliver.

 

Priyanka Aribindi: I’m Priyanka Aribindi. 

 

[spoken together] And don’t make us fly into Trump airport.

 

Juanita Tolliver: When I tell you I will go to every other airport except this one if it’s named Trump. Eew.

 

Priyanka Aribindi: Airports are already hell on earth and they’ve found a way to make them worse. Just congratulations to these House Republicans. Hats off to you. [music break]

 

Juanita Tolliver: What a Day is a production of Crooked Media. It’s recorded and mixed by Bill Lancz. Our associate producers are Raven Yamamoto and Natalie Bettendorf. We had production help today from Michell Eloy, Greg Walters and Julia Claire. Our showrunner is Leo Duran. Our executive producer is Adriene Hill. Our theme music is by Colin Gilliard and Kashaka.